Toyota logs softer 22% monthly drop in sales in China; Mazda down 29%

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that new car sales in China fell 22.1 percent to 63,800 units in November, indicating the fallout from the anti-Japanese protests in China this summer has begun to wane.

In October, Toyota’s sales sank 44.1 percent from the previous year.

Separately, Mazda Motor Corp. reported new car sales in the country fell 29.7 percent in November on year to 12,187, improving from a 45.0 percent fall the previous month.

From January to November, Toyota’s sales in China slid 3.3 percent from the same period last year to 749,600, making it unlikely the company will achieve its target of selling 1 million cars in China this year.

Sales plunged 48.9 percent in September after the Japanese government purchased some of the Senkaku Islands from a private Japanese owner the same month, sparking extensive demonstrations across China.

The islets in the East China Sea are administered by Japan but also claimed by China as Diaoyu and Taiwan as Tiayutai.

Japanese automakers resumed sales campaigns in China, the world’s largest auto market, around mid-October as the hostilities showed signs of subsiding.

Toyota, Mazda and other Japanese automakers held a press day for an international motor show in Guangzhou on Nov. 22 at which they said that, despite the vandalism, arson and other risk factors at automakers’ plants and sales outlets, they still regard China as one of their most important markets.

During demonstrations in September, some protesters vandalized the outlets of Japanese carmakers and other stores and attacked Japanese cars on the streets.

The ensuing boycott led to sharp falls in retail sales in China.